fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "the consignment" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "consignment " (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "contact the diplomat" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: office file <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:02:44 +0200
Subject: Important and Urgent Massage Concerning your Package
Attention My Dear Friend
I have finally succeeded in getting your consignment box worthy of
$20million dollars out of delivery security room, with the help of
Barrister Frank Jimmy SENIOR ADVOCATE OF BENIN (SAB) Federal Supreme
High Court of Benin which act as your foreign Attorney representative
here in Benin so he convince the authority in your country that your
consignment box has no link with terrorist or drug trafficking.
Finally the authority at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Airport 6000 North Terminal Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia of United States
has agree to allow the diplomatic agent Paul Uba to leave the airport
with your consignment box worth $20million dollars in cash, the
authority has agreed that Paul will be leaving the airport as soon as he
present the Insurance Coverage Certificate of your consignment which
will be obtain from Benin republic. However, I will advise you to
reconfirm your delivery information to the agent Paul Uba to avoid wrong
Your Full Name:
A Copy of Your ID for Identification attached
Nearest Airport: as he is at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Georgia right
now because of the Searching and Scanning of the package which made him
to misplace your Information.
Contact the diplomatic agent in person with the below information as
his waiting to communicate with you call him on his cell phone
928-554-2514 enable you give him full direction location without any
Name: Agent Paul Uba
Cell Phone: 928-554-2514
Furthermore remember the Agent Paul Uba whom will deliver the package
does not know the content of that consignment box is money because the
Attorney which represented you registered it as a family value to avoid
hitch during the delivery so unknown circumstances should you let him
know the content of that consignment box is $20million dollars to avoid
lost of your fund as your Consignment was Sign and Stamp by Federal
Ministry of Justice to make sure that it is protected until it gets to
you as no authority is allow to open the consignment box expect you.
Also call me as soon as you receive this massage to discuss on issue of
the needed Insurance Coverage Certificate of your consignment which
require some little fee contact me with the below information so we can
discuss on how to obtain the needed Insurance Coverage Certificate
immediately on your behalf:
Telephone: +229-6139-2943 or +229-6867-2419